Thursday, June 4, 2015

Have a heart or several

Clayathon retreat happens around Valentine's Day so when we decided to have a left right center game a couple years ago it only seemed right that instead of chips we make hearts. Here are two groups that I made. For more info on left right center check out a previous post Here.

The first group I used some vintage art nouveau molds I had and combined a heart with a lovely women to create my angels. They are black clay that was brushed with pearlex. 

For this group I wanted to play of phrases describing types of hearts. From top to bottom we have warm hearted, cold hearted, big hearted, broken hearted and open hearted. 

Veggie garden

I was looking through some old photos and came across these veggies I sculpted as part of a set a couple years back. I wish I'd gotten pics of the whole set. They were about 2-3 inches high and are made out of premo clay. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Ironside O'Rourke of her majesty's royal airship brigade

There are lots of times I'll take a ball of clay and let it tell me what's inside. This started out that way, and as his face began to shape up it started to remind me of steampunk imagery. I had a lot of fun making the background with all the gears and cogs. At the time I didn't make many canes but I wanted his scarf to be a pattern so I made it as a cane and textured it using some knitted material. For his goggle I used a vintage Swarovski crystal and some wire for the other side. It's made with premo clay and antiqued with water mixable oil paints.


Polymer with Morrocan style

It all started with a trip to a Morrocan restaurant, they place had also had a retail store selling Morrocan imports at one time and when they closed it down they took all the leftover stock and used it in the restaurant. All the colors and patterns and how overdone it was appealed to me, so it was decided that we'd have our very own Morrocan room. Normal people do that, right? So as the Morrocan room started to shape together I found items that needed a touch here or there or things that were too expensive and thought here is where polymer clay comes in. So first I made a few sun catchers . Shown below, these started as laser cut wood filigree that I painted and added a patina then using translucent clay which I pressed into the back and domed and then embellished. They protect against the evil eye.

After that I made a tiny camel and scent bottle because every Morrocan room needs a herd of camels.

The next obvious thing you need is a magic lantern, this started as a floral teapot but with paint and polymer clay even Aladdin would be proud of it. The plate behind it in peacock colors is polymer clay over glass. 

I thought the other window needed something so I made these silver hamsa out of clay as well. 

Here are a few pictures of the finished room which is our tv room/guest room fit for a sultan.

Smoking dragon tile

When I started in polymer clay over 30 years ago one of the first things I sculpted was a dragon and for many years I sculpted and sold tons of them and I even taught classes on how to sculpt them. One day I just got burned out making them (see what I did there, burned out, dragons har har). Lately though every now and then one starts to come out of the ball of clay in my hands and makes it into the oven. This charming fellow is one such, I had made the background with a completely different goal in mind and suddenly my hands just started to make this guys head. His eye is a glass eye and his body is black premo that has been covered with multiple colors of pearlex. The whole piece was then antiqued with water mixable oil paints.  I made him at a clay retreat and as soon as he emerged from the oven he was purchased and is now firing things up in Michigan. 


Full sized tiki mask

I love all things tiki, I even have a tiki room in our house. After making all those small tiki masks for the mini mask swap I was in I decided to try my hand at making a full sized tiki mask. I love the way this guy turned out, I think he has so much character. He will definitely not be the last tiki mask I make. He is made out of brown premo clay and antiqued with water mixable oil paints.  The antiquing really gives the clay the look of wood.

Tentacles everywhere even on jewelry

These two pieces of jewelry are inspired by the work of Jana Roberts Benzon, she is one of my favorite artists and her work is constantly evolving. A few years back she came to teach at the Philadelphia Polymer Clay guild and at the time was teaching her sea creature class. I loved the technique but wanted to use it in a way that was true to my work and that's how these two pieces of jewelry came into being. The pendant and ring are both Kato clay with fresh water pearls. If you ever have a chance to take a class with Jana I'd highly recommend it, she's one of the best teachers out there and so much fun too.

Sculpting in relief

At this years Morrisburg clay retreat in Canada I taught sculpting in relief. I love to sculpt on tiles because for the small amount of clay you end up using you can get such impressive results. The pieces can then be finished with a hanger on the back or framed to give them even more presence on the wall. The three examples shown here are all using white premo clay and painted and antiqued using water mixable oil paints.  

It's raining dogs and a cat

At this years Morrisburg clay retreat I decided to make dogs and cats as my chips for Left Right Center. LRC is a game where artists create chips which can be anything from a flat poker chip to small sculptures and the goal of the game is to win these chips from each other. It's really fun and we all try to outdo each other with our chips. I didn't remember to get pictures of the other cats which is why only one made it to this post.